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ASK YOUR DENTIST 5. - Diabetes and dental implants

“I have recently suffered an automobile accident in which I lost the bottom half of my teeth, including the front ones, all the way to the back molars. At first, I was devastated, thinking I am going to have to get dentures and the whole ridiculously embarrassing procedures and situations that wearing dentures entails (i am 43). The doctor who was treating me at the hospital said I can get dental implants and forego all of that. I was informed about the price, and after working hard for two years I finally have enough money put aside that I can afford them.

The problem is, I have extremely well taken care of type II diabetes, and my dentist informed me that I am entirely inelligible for a dental implant because of this. I hardly think that this is fair, and I am wondering why there is this discrimination against sick people.  Why can’t I get my dental implants?”

This is one of those questions that gets asked very frequently and with good reason, too. It is very frustrating, even infuriating to have to live with a disease that affects your life, and then be marginalized and stigmatized for it. But that is not what is happening with the ban from dental implants, and I assure you, this decision was made keeping the best interests of potential patients in mind.

 diabetes implant

Dental implant manufacturers need to make money to stay afloat. They are usually not government subsidised, and usually will take as many patients as they  can get. For them to categorically dismiss such a large chunk of western civilisation, you should suspect that there are legitimate medical reasons involved. The reasons are fairly simple, too. The jawbone and the bones in general quickly degenerate with people who suffer from diabetes. It does not make a difference in terms of your ability to receive dental implants how well you take care of your condition, and how much time and money you spend on staying healthy. Your dentist and the dentists who drew up these laws for dental implant manufacturers cannot guarantee the same safety and the same results as with someone who does not have a disease which affects their bones. Thus, it is not safe for them to give it to you, as the dental implants can potentially harm you and damage your tissues and your jawbone. Thus going into this sort of agreement would be a violation of the hippocratic oath, and no dentist wants to do that.

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